Joël Gallegos, assistant provost for international programs for UNC Charlotte’s Office of International Programs (OIP), has been appointed honorary consul of France for the Charlotte region. Endorsed for this role by the French minister of foreign affairs and confirmed by the U.S. Department of State, Gallegos will seek to enhance relations between the United States and France in ways that spotlight the city of Charlotte.
Gallegos, who serves as the senior international officer at UNC Charlotte, is responsible for promoting the University’s globalization efforts and managing its network of international partners and exchange articulation agreements. Expert in developing international relationships, he will support the main consul’s efforts to facilitate the consular needs of the local French community in addition to facilitating diplomatic and cultural visits from France. He also will promote the city of Charlotte to French entities and have opportunities to expand cultural connections and partnerships between France-based universities and UNC Charlotte, such as with long-standing higher education partners University of Limoges and Université Jean Moulin Lyon III.
“It is a tremendous honor to be able to work side by side with Atlanta’s consul general of France as the global presence of both the Charlotte region and UNC Charlotte accelerates,” Gallegos said. “I look forward to advocating for Charlotte as a world-class city, business center, and education and technology hub.”
Approximately 800 UNC Charlotte students study abroad annually. Through partnerships with 58 international institutions, several of which are possible through UNC System collaborations, students are encouraged to study abroad, international students and faculty are attracted to UNC Charlotte’s campus, and faculty are able to teach and conduct collaborative and individual research at institutions abroad.
“Joël’s selection as honorary consul of France in Charlotte is a wonderful recognition of his personal commitment to international understanding and his long career in building opportunities for students and faculty globally,” said Joan Lorden, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. “UNC Charlotte students and faculty, and visiting students and scholars from around the world have benefited from OIP’s uniquely robust and creative programming under Joël's leadership. His appointment casts a spotlight on this work and reflects his standing in the community and the field of international education.”
Locally, Gallegos serves as a board member and chair of the education committee for the World Affairs Council of Charlotte (WACC), the community’s premier organization on global affairs. The WACC invites prominent speakers to address international affairs topics to students, faculty and staff. He also serves on the board of directors of Charlotte Sister Cities, whose partnerships forge exchanges and initiatives that focus on arts and culture, youth and education, business and trade, and community development in the Charlotte region.
Within North Carolina, Gallegos serves as chair of the University Council on International Programs (UCIP), the primary body charged with overseeing, coordinating and advocating for the UNC System’s global affairs divisions and their activities. He also serves on the board of directors of StudyNC, an organization dedicated to promoting North Carolina education worldwide. Nationally, Gallegos is a member of the board of directors for ISEP Study Abroad, a nonprofit educational organization with a large global network for study, intern, and volunteer abroad programs. He previously served on the board of directors of NAFSA: Association of International Educators and the Council on International Education and Exchange; he is a trustee emeritus for The Fund for Education Abroad.